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slides: 25 Reality TV Stars from Oregon

Saturday, February 14, 2015

 

Gregory Gourdet was a finalist on Top Chef season 12. Photo Credit: Byron Beck

This week Departure’s Gregory Gourdet and Imperial’s Dougie Adams became very close to becoming Bravo TV’s—and America’—next Top Chef (they came in second and third to Mei Lin).

It was quite an impressive showing from two of Portland’s best. 

See Slides Below: 25 Reality TV Stars from Oregon

And it made us think of other awesome people who have been featured on reality television shows ever since this new genre of entertainment popped up with such shows as MTV’s “The Real World,” and the original season of “Survivor.”

Fact is there are plenty of tv-friendly folks from Oregon who have crossed our small screens and iPods. 

From sweaty “Axe Men” to pumped-up “Bachelor” and pump-wearing “Bachelorettes” to fashionable folks who were expected to “smile” and “make it work” Oregon has had its share of representation on television’s top tv shows. 

Here is a list of famous reality folk who, at one time in their lives, called this state home—and many who still do.

 

Related Slideshow: 25 Reality Stars From Oregon

From sweaty “Axe Men” to pumped-up “Bachelor” and pump-wearing “Bachelorettes” to fashionable folks who were expected to “smile” and “make it work” Oregon has had its share of representation on television’s top tv shows. Here is a list of famous reality folk who, at one time in their lives, called this state home—and many who still do.

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Gregory Gourdet

Gregory Gourdet- Top Chef (Season 12)

New York native turned Portland chef superstar Gregory Gourdet, worked at Urban Farmer and Saucebox before becoming executive chef at downtown Portland's Departure. Unfortunately Gourdet lost against Los Angeles-based chef Mei Lin on this season of Top Chef, but we expect more great things from the talented Gourdet in the future. 

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Michelle Lesniak

Michelle Lesniak- Project Runway

Project Runway’s Season 11 winner is as bold as her designs. Michelle Lesniak, trained at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, is committed to staying in her native hometown of Portland rather than set up her design shop in the apparel capitols of New York or Los Angeles.

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Jinkx Monsoon

Jinkx Monsoon- RuPaul's Drag Race (season 5)

Monsoon was born in Portland and attended daVinci Arts and Grant Highschool. He first performed in drag when he was 15 at the all ages dance club Escape. Monsoon joined the fifth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, after appearing in musical productions in Seattle and in a YouTube docu-series titled Drag Becomes Him. Monsoon became “America's Next Drag Superstar” as the winner of the season.  

Photo Credit: Joe Mabel via Wikimedia Commons 

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Gretchen Jones

Gretchen Jones- Project Runway

After becoming the second winner from Portland on “Project Runway” (Season 8) Gretchen Jones moved to Brooklyn, New York to create he own clothing and jewelry line. Now back in Portland the forward-design thinking Jones joined up with old-school textile giant Pendleton Woolen Mills in late 2013 to modernize all three of Pendleton’s lines. It looks like she's continuing to work with Pendleton on a new collection for Pendleton.

Photo Credit: Byron Beck 

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Amber

Amber- My 600-lb Life (Season 3)

24 year old Amber from Troutdale Oregon, weighed 660 lbs while on TLC’s My 600-lb Life. She felt like “a nasty yucky monster” and suffered from back and shin pain. Amber went through high-risk gastric bypass surgery while on the show. 

Photo Credit: TVRuckus YouTube Screenshot 

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The Roloff Family

The Roloff Family- Little People, Big World

The Roloff family live on a 36-acre farm in Helvetia, Oregon. Amy Roloff decided to take up TLC on the show offer after realizing that it was a “great opportunity to educate people about dwarfism.” After 26 years of marriage Matt and Amy Roloff decided to separate in early 2014. The show finished with eight seasons in September 30, 2014. 

Photo Credit: Amy Roloff Twitter (image cropped) 

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Jennifer Lyon

Jennifer Lyon- Survivor: Palau

Cast as the "32-year-old nanny from Encino, Calif.," for the 10th season of Survivor called Survivor: Palau Jenn Lyon didn't win the million dollars (she made it to the "final four”). Lyon may have had been billed as being from Encino, but she spent a good part of her life in Oregon, and it was here that she died from Tuesday, January 19, 2010 in Hood River, Oregon. She is still missed by her fans, family and friends. 

Photo Credit: Survivor Wiki (image cropped) 

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Faye Resnick

Faye Resnick- The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Faye Resnick, a former Playboy model, a central character in the O.J. Simpson murder trial due to her friendship with Nicole Brown Simpson, and one of the ladies of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" is married to Portland attorney Everett Jack Jr. (her Bravo-TV biography refers to him as "the love of her life" and "the man of her dreams"). 

In June the couple bought a house in Portland's West Hills for 1.3 million dollars.

Photo Credit: Faye Resnick Twitter (image cropped) 

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Jay Frank

Jay Frank- The Real World: London

From his Facebook page: “I was born and raised in N.E. Portland, OR. At the age of 9, my parents bought at auction a "Day with Scott Lynn," sending me off to the local news station for a peek at what would become my future profession. In high school I wrote a one-man show, which landed me on the South Lawn of the White House shaking hands with President Bill Clinton then dumped me on MTV's "The Real World -- London." He is now Weekday Morning Anchor/Stormtracker for KIMA/KEPR Action News in Yakima, Wash. and author and star of the long-running play "Ten Cent Treasure."

Photo Credit: Jay Frank Facebook (image cropped)

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Holly Madison

Holly Madison- The Girls Next Door

Holly Madison was born in Astoria and went to Portland State University for two years, before becoming one of Hugh Hefner's girlfriends. She appeared on Dancing with the Stars, The Girls Next Door, and her own series Holly's World. 

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons 

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Doug Adams

Doug Adams- Top Chef (Season 12)

Doug Adams is the Chef de Cuisine of Imperial and Portland Penny Diner. He grew up in the wilds of Tyler, Texas and Missoula, Montana, before eventually moving to Portland in 2008, where he attended culinary school and first worked at the infamous Lucier restaurant on Portland’s South Waterfront.  In his spare time, Adams enjoys playing the bluegrass guitar and fly fishing. The young and quotable chef came in third on "Top Chef Boston."

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Jenn Louis

Jenn Louis- Top Chef Masters Season 5

Executive chef at Portland’s Lincoln Restaurant Louis was as a semifinalist for the 2010 and 2011 James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef Northwest” and was named Food & Wine’s 2012 “Best New Chef” for the Northwest region. Louis has appeared on ABC’s The Chew, and her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, The New York Times. She was also featured on “Top Chef Masters” 5.

Photo Credit: Jenn Louis Twitter

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Storm Large

Storm Large- Rock Star: Supernova

Singer/songwriter, actress and author wasn't born in Oregon, but she has definitely made a name for herself here. From her earliest days at Dante's with her band "The Balls" to her time onstage at Portland Center Stage in both "Cabaret" and her own show, "Crazy Enough" which became the basis for her own memoir.  And, yes, she spent some time on a reality television show called "Rockstar Supernova." 

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Juelia Kinney

Juelia Kinney- The Bachelor (season 19)

Co-founder of a successful insurance brokerage Juelia Kinney, was sent packing during Season 19, Episode 4 of Bachelor 2015. On the show single mom Kinney spoke about here husband Dustin’s suicide in 2013.“For the first time since my daughter was born I had time to kind of reflect on how I feel and how I was doing,” Kinney told ABC News. “I’m sure any mothers can relate to that.”

Photo Credit: Juelia Kinney Twitter 

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Rasha Pecoraro

Rasha Pecoraro-The Biggest Loser: Special Edition

One of the breakout stars from NBC’s edition “The Biggest Loser” in 2006 Rasha and her wife, Vanna Pecoraro, have launched a clothing line called Dapper D. A Men's Style Clothing Line for Women the lifestyle clothing brand  with a masculine edge caters to the LGBTQ community.

Photo Credit: Dapper D

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Taylor John Williams ­

Taylor John Williams- The Voice Season 7

During his The Voice audition Portland singer song-writer Taylor John Williams performed Kanye West's "Heartless" and wowed judges Gwen Stefani and Adam Levine. Williams made it to the top five, before getting eliminated. Before going on The Voice, Williams worked at the Sniff Dog Hotel in Northwest Portland where he would often play his guitar and sing in the lobby. 

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Lisa Rinna

Lisa Rinna- Celebrity Apprentice Season 4 and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills  

A soap opera acting legend (and sometimes adult undergarment pitch person) Lisa Rinna plays "Billie," just one of the conivving women who make up the cast of the long-running "Days of Our Lives." Born in Medford, Lisa now lives in Los Angeles with her longtime husband, actor Harry Hamlin.

Photo Credit: The Heart Truth via Wikimedia Commons (image cropped) 

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Ehren McGhehey

Ehren McGhehey- Jackass 

McGhehey started filming stunts after retiring from snowboarding due to injury. Jackass director Jeff Tremaine, discovered him and put him on the Jackass team. “Safety First” was McGhehey’s  motto when performing and the crew nicknamed him "Danger Ehren”. People know McGhehey most from the episode where he wears a “pube beard" made up from his co-stars.

Photo Credit: Frederick M. Brown 

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Jourdan Miller

Jourdan Miller- America's Next Top Model Cycle 20 

Jourdan Miller winner of the twentieth cycle of America's Next Top Model, lived in Bend, Oregon as child and teen. Miller won a total of three challenges throughout her time on Top Model. Her win included an eight-page spread in Nylon magazine as well as a contract with NEXT Model Management in Los Angeles. 

Photo Credit: Jourdan Miller Instagram (image cropped) 

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Bill and Cathi Alden

Bill and Cathi Alden- The Amazing Race Season 19 

Bill and Cathi Alden was the oldest teams on the season, Bill being 63 and Cathi being 62 years old. They ended up in fifth place after spending a hour lost, trying to find a pigeon homing location in Belgium. 

Photo Credit: Sonja Flemming CBS (image cropped) 

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Lovey James

Lovey James- American Idol Season 14 

Lovey had over 75,000 twitter followers and a YouTube VEVO page before becoming a contestant on American Idol 2015. Lovey advanced to the next round of Hollywood week after singing a version of "All About the Bass.”

Photo Credit: Lovey James Facebook

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Brady Lange

Brady Lange- Under the Gunn

Brady Lange appeared on the Project Runway Spinoff and was eliminated during the unconventional materials Vampire Academy challenge. He recently showed a fun high school athletic inspired collection titled “Let’s Play” at 2014 Portland Fashion Week.  

Photo Credit: Brady Lange Instagram 

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Leanne Marshall

Leanne Marshall- Project Runway Season 5 

Leanne Marshall winner of Project Runway Season 5, began her fashion career at Portland Fashion Week. Her turquoise and ivory wave inspired collection gave her the winning title against Korto Momolu and Kenley Collins. 

Marshall moved to New York after her win and began designing clothing for television stars like Paula Abdul and the X Factor. Marshall launched a bridal line in 2011 and last year released dresses with BHLDN. 

Photo Credit: Leanne Marshall Facebook 

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Terri Irwin

Terri Irwin- The Crocodile Hunter

Terri Irwin is an American-Australian naturalist and author, the widow of "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin and owner of the Australia Zoo in Australia. She co-starred with her husband on the "Crocodile Hunter" and a few other documentary series in the same vein. She was born in Eugene, but since marrying Steve she has lived in Australia.

Photo Credit: By Photo by Airman 1st Class Stacy Sanchez [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (image cropped) 

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Melvin Lardy

Melvin Lardy- Ax Men 

Melvin Lardy is owner of Stump Branch Logging based in Buxton, Oregon. Lardy has been in the logging business for more than ten years.

 
 

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